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Phew, the doormen are staying put. A whole nine days before their contract expired, SEIU Local 32BJ, the union representing residential building service workers in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, has reached a tentative labor agreement with the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, the group that represents property managers and building owners, avoiding a strike. The fact that both sides came to a deal so soon is a bit of a surprise; typically, negotiations go to the 11th hour.
The four-year agreement covers over 30,000 staffers, including doormen, porters, handymen and superintendents, who work in more than 3,000 rentals, co-ops and condos.
So what will the workers get? An average wage increase of 2.71 percent each year over the four-year contract, around 11.3 percent total, bringing the pay for a typical doorman or porter from $44,389 to $49,402 a year by 2018 (when you have to worry about another strike all over again). The deal also fully protects the benefits packages that 32BJ members receive.
Also, in case you were wondering, New York City's unionized residential building workers continue to be the highest paid in the country.